Colorado is one of the healthiest states in the nation... but how does each county compare within our borders, a recent report has a look at how we all rank. Every year the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute ranks each state's counties, looking at health factors which contribute to our overall well-being. Mesa County is doing well in some areas, but other statistics show cause for concern.
33 out of 59, that's where Mesa County sizes up against other counties in overall health.
While we're far from the top there are some areas where our health scores are nothing to be ashamed of, for example, Mesa County ranks 8th in clinical care.
“As far as our services go our residents are very good about physical examinations and about going in for screening and it also speaks very highly about our health care system", said Jeff Kuhr, PhD, Mesa County Health Department Executive Director.
There's room for improvement though, including areas like health behaviors are leaving us at the tail end of the state.
“Areas that we could do better is we were 46th when it came to lifestyle related things, so those are behavioral things that people take upon them self to live a healthy lifestyle", said Kuhr.
We need to work on our obesity levels, teen pregnancy rates, and high tobacco use. Mesa County's mortality rate is 36 out of 59; the report cites high motor vehicle crash fatalities and suicide rates. But Mesa County Health officials say they're working together to draft a plan for a healthier future.
"We've come up with a community health improvement plan that helps identify behavioral determinants and those areas that we need to put emphasis on", said Kuhr.
Mesa County Health Department officials' plan is to identify existing programs which the health issues we're seeing and work to improve them to meet our objective of overall improvement.
From the rankings last year to this year, Mesa County has fallen one step overall from 32 to 33 out of the 59 counties in the survey.
If you're interested on where other counties compare you can find out more about the full report at the link below.